Democracy in Healthcare #HospitalFutures

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@dr_attila_vegh from University Hospital South Manchester is at the deep end of Healthcare change in the NHS

The point is not to predict the future but to prepare for it

He is a thoroughly fascinating speaker, a medically qualified NHS CEO who spent much of his time talking about meaning and wholeness. It makes a refreshing change focusing on the real purpose of healthcare and the opportunity the challenges we face and the technological changes we have access to can bring us.

We are living in a consumer society, expectations have changed and technology has changed the landscape for virtually all the services we access (except perhaps those in the public sector). Attila identified 3 things that will help the NHS catch up.

  • Wanting to change – a healthy sense of urgency
  • Transparency – uberisation of healthcare
  • Apps and gadgets – and the effect of Moore’s Law

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw

The unreasonable radicals have changed our world already

  • The worlds largest taxi firm owns no cars
  • The worlds largest hotelier owns no hotels
  • The worlds largest shop has no shops

And this revolution is not that far away in healthcare:

  • Mayo consultants expect 30% of all consultations to be virtual (not sure by when)
  • The internet is filtering and structuring medical data in such a way that without specialist knowledge we can have a sophisticated understanding of our condition and (perhaps more importantly) the sort of treatment we should expect.
  • Cost of genome sequence has gone from 100,000,000 to less than $1000 in 15 years
  • Dermatology app that is more accurate than a dermatology consultant!!!
  • We can do full blood test with dongle attached to smart phone – what happens to pathology labs?

If Moore’s Law applies to all these, and why wouldn’t it, then we will all have access to these in no time at all.

And if this all happens then Doctors role will change:

  • They will work as teams rather than on their own
  • They will work in increasingly complex organisations working across health systems
  • They will want a life (radical on this one, but they should have the chance too)
  • Their patients will be smarter and better informed
  • Thy will use info tools constantly

This gives us the opportunity to completely re-invent health organisations. Currently our hospitals are designed like factories built solely to manage risk (and with factory based improvement attitudes eg Lean).

Wonderfully Attila hopes the hospitals of the future will be ‘temples for life’, reconnecting with the meaning of our work making a difference in our patients lives. If he wasn’t at Meaning Conference earlier this year he should have been (perhaps he should be on next years list). He referenced Fredrick Laloux and Jos de Blok and if half of what he talked about in terms of building democratic (my word not his) organisations and teams comes to pass I think he will be leading a brilliant revolution. The characteristics he wants to see are beautifully simple:

  • Self management
  • Wholeness
  • Evolutionary purpose

I think South Manchester is now a place to watch very closely.

democracy in health


Live blogged from #HospitalFutures

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